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Fun trail! Packed with snow but beautiful nonetheless. For some areas having trekking poles would make it easier.

Did this hike on 1/11/19 after 6 inches of fresh snow (and still snowing) that morning. It was beautiful in the trees with all the snow. Can’t comment on the views because it was cloudy and snowing hard. Incline was tough with all the fresh snow, would recommend spikes!!

Did this hike on 1/15/2019 in the late afternoon. Still completely snow covered from 1/11 snowfall. We did not have spikes/yaktrax and still completed this hike with our dog with relative ease. Rather slick on the packed snow in places but overall made it up okay. Difficulty is moderate I would say especially with the packed snow. At the top there is rock scrambles to get to the views but it was worth it. Beautiful short hike with the snow cover. Good views at the top after the rock scramble.

trail is snow covered but not icy! beautiful as can be!

Fresh snow but I made it most of the way with spikes and poles. Just follow the power lines - but be careful, parts of the lines were covered in snow. About a mile up the snow got deep enough I decided not to try going farther.

12/8/2018 - A good amount of ice on the trail, so I would recommend spikes at minimum, but a fresh dusting of snow left the trail impassable with about 0.7M to the end (~1.5ft of snow, and I only had spikes on). Most of the snow on the first half of the road had melted, so not ideal for XC skiing or snowmobiling anymore I’d imagine. Only option for parking is illegal street parking.

We started at the Beaver Brook trail which is 3 miles downhill and back up the Chavez which was 2 miles uphill. We went 1/6/19 and there trail had some snow and ice in some areas. The trail is a mix of flat trail, rocks you need to hug or climb over and crossing streams. Just be mindful that the last 2 miles have quite an incline uphill and it’s not easy. I am looking forward to doing it again in summer as it is well shaded and I may be in better shape

Almost nothing but straight up and straight down the whole way. Just a few not too long flatter parts. I didn’t mind going up and didn’t find it too difficult. Going down was not so enjoyable, however. It took longer than anticipated having to be careful not to slip on the loose rock and dirt and by the end my legs were tired of the constant weight forced down on them with each step thanks to the steepness. I guess that’s why it’s rated difficult. My girlfriend who is afraid of heights was not a fan of the steepness, loose rock and dirt, and scrambling towards the top. Pretty extensive views of Denver, surrounding towns, and Rockies throughout, including 360 view at the peak, though honestly the view of the mountains at the peak wasn’t quite as beautiful as I was hoping. Some of the further peaks were covered by snow storm which may have affected that. Also FYI super windy as you go up. Little chilly at the top. I will probably try it again. No snow or ice as of today, 1/7.

A wonderful hike with amazing views. Hardly anyone was on the trail! Nice, balanced trail!

hiking
11 days ago

Quite a few people out today - 55° and sunny! Trail had some snow covered sections but did not require spikes. Great views at the top. We went counter-clockwise on the loop and took the Oxen trail back to the parking lot.

Didn't need spikes today. Nice view at the top, quick hike close to Denver.

Amazing trail you have to try. Little bit everything on this hike. It was bit sketchy in some areas because of snow and ice over some rocks, but overall it’s a great trail and will be back.

hiking
12 days ago

Great winter hike! Did this one today, and there is a ton of snow, but we managed with just spikes. There were a lot of people snowshoeing and cross-country skiing -- good trail for that as well. The lake is completely frozen over, but the views are amazing.

Beautiful hike that crossed over the creek several times. It was snowy/icy in several areas. Starts off downhill then the last mile and a half or so is uphill. Well maintained but could use better signage.

Great hike with multiple creek crossings. Went right at the start of the loop and it was 85% downhill and flat, easy. Probably more on the moderate end the other way. Recommend going in the summer to see the awesome creek. It was frozen during my hike but still was a gorgeous hike! Moderate hikers and dogs.

Great Mountain for training.

hiking
14 days ago

Did this Christmas Eve morning and had the trail to ourselves. There is trail erosion towards the west end of the loop near Panorama Point from overuse. But rest of trail is in good shape. The ranger told us he saw two moose on the trail earlier that morning. We didn’t but will come again. A lovely state park.

Beautiful views, varied terrain, busy with hikers and dogs, some tricky spots, several amazing rock stairs, very little snow or ice on the trail on the day we went...It definitely satisfies the need to get some peace in nature!

hiking
18 days ago

Did the whole loop on a Sunday morning 12/30. Perfect weather and got there early at 10am, finished just after noon. Parking lot filled up quickly by the time I finished. Good hike with varying hills throughout to make the hike interesting; not just straight up then down. Some neat views of Denver. Will definitely be back in the spring!

My wife and I did this December 30th on my 65th birthday. Read Keeley Dowell review it was spot on. No need for spikes, several packed snow places EASILY traversed.. We also took Oxen Draw clockwise and it was quite beautiful. Conditions couldn't be any better very enjoyable BEAUTIFUL hike. We will definitely do this one again.

This was a pretty hike. Not well posted and we lost track of the trail a few times...which would likely be more difficult right after a snow. Easy access from the city.

Found this trail to be slick in only a few shaded spots on the trail, but poles and spikes were not necessary. This hike is a good excuse to get out and moving without fighting winter ski traffic. Keep in mind that most of the hike is sun-exposed.

Great hike a half hour outside of Denver. Challenging right out of the gate with occasional scrambling near the top. Hiked this trail yesterday. Spectacular views the whole way.

hiking
23 days ago

Did Raccoon today from panorama point. Roads were all dry, no 4x4 needed. Not sure the other comment about access roads being closed - this time of year you have to enter from the West public road entrance anyways.
Trail was good. Some packed snow but mostly dry...Didn't need spikes and definitely don't need snowshoes.

Went for my first time this afternoon... beautiful well marked trails. No service for most of the trail but no complaints from me on that. Views at the top were absolutely beautiful. I took Oxen trail to Eagle View clockwise and it made the journey up a bit easier. Pretty steep coming down though. Will visit again!

Did this on Christmas Day. Temps were warm and trail was in good condition. Nice parking lot and clean vault toilets. I’ve driven by this many times - always busy on the weekends. Nice view at top.

Snow and ice in some spots, 10 to 20 feet at a time with 90% of the trail clear. Did not use our micro spikes today but had to walk carefully in a few places. Watch for slick ice covered with a dusting of dirt.

Beautiful hike. I made a mistake and took the trail to the top by accident - but glad I did - awesome view!! Got windy on top!!

Did on Christmas so not busy at all. Decent and fun especially for being close to Denver when you need less of a drive. Top of the loop had great scenes. Clocked 4.4 miles and at a slower pace did in a few hours. Didn’t need spikes though few areas had snow pack and that was enough to get traction. Lots of sun so did shed layers was about 40 out when did.

Good trail and challenging. The actual nature part is very scenic and enjoyable some of the hike is a little more than moderate. Personally not enough signs to point you in the right direction to get your proper hike. Had fun fun and think would redo hike.

Great trail with varied terrain and views.

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